Digital Assets In Trusts


I hope everyone is doing well.

My practice seems to be getting many more inquiries on putting cryptocurrencies in trusts along with other types of digital assets like fidelity accounts/credentials.

Quite honestly, this type of activity goes well outside my area of expertise, but I’ve seen some interesting products like that claim to be able to support digital assets like crypto + traditional brokerage accounts.

Has anybody here had good experiences with Bequest? They seem to be nice competent people, but I’d like to hear from others too.

Hi John

I haven’t heard of Bequest (I will have a look at them). But my general thoughts are Trustees are supposed to safeguard the assets. Trust investment mandates are often balanced return (esp where income required), medium risk. Low risk gives too little capital return (in itself a risk with inflation), and high risk is too risky. I would have thought crypto fell into high risk so not generally appropriate for trustees. To me the question is do you know any Financial advisors/ stockbrokers (other than those selling their own schemes!) who would be prepared to say they thought these were an appropriate investment for a trust.

I am interested to hear what others think.

Sara Spencer ATII TEP

I advise clients on crypto and digital assets quite often and have a reasonable size bank of crypto clients as a result.

However, there’s a big difference between an individual making their own high risk investment decisions and trustees holding extremely high risk, complex and volatile assets. There is obviously significant complications with arranging custody of the assets storage on exchanges or in cold wallets is risky and can be complex, it’s very easy to lose crypto, be scammed or hacked.

I have looked into Bequest and they do have a custodial service which seems to be well established and techincally very usable, but it does very much focus on the US market rather than the UK market.

I would think that where a trustee was requested to consider investing into crypto that they would want to ensure that they have the technical understanding of what they are investing into and ideally are appropriately indemnified in the event of it all going horribly wrong.